There is a dramatic shortage of affordable housing and shelter in Seattle. On a recent January night in King County, 2,736 homeless people were counted on the streets between the hours of 2 and 5 AM. The 1,704 year-round shelter beds and the 455 winter response beds were already filled.
Many homeless people are already taking their own steps to close the survival gap. Of the 2,736 people not in shelter, 273 slept in self-managed homeless tent cities and 878 slept in their cars.
The Committee to End Homelessness (CEH) should support these efforts and fulfill its commitment to provide safety and survival to homeless people tonight by adopting the following priorities:
1. Recognize and support homeless tent cities
2. Create safe zones with facilities for car campers
3. No net loss of winter shelter - keep winter response shelters open!
Supporting these interim survival measures will reduce the immediate harm of homelessness while we all work toward long-term solutions.